Counting the chickens before they hatch!

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

Had a listing appointment today. Yes, I know it's Sunday and I don't normally work on Sundays, but hey, I'm the Broker, I make the rules and I can break the rules. It was either today after Church or during the week at night. Well figured I would already be dressed in my "Sunday go to meetin cloths", so what the heck, I'd drive on over there. I'd still be home in time to cook lunch for "The Lovely Wife".

Anyway, I had sent these folks a preliminary CMA via E-mail last week and was really looking forward to meeting with them. I knew it was going to be a tuff one, but I felt up to the challenge. The challenge was, they had been listed for 6 months with another Realtor at $360,000, when the house, maximum, is worth only $299,000. They had already told me on the phone they were ready to reduce to $340,000. So I really had my job cut out for me. I won't take an overpriced listing so my goal was to get them to reduce $65,000. Also, since they were with a discount Realtor before, I needed to raise the commission a couple of points as well. So, if you do the math, we are looking at more than a 20% reduction in their anticipated Net.

Big challenge, but I woke up this morning ready to face it. I had prepared an analysis, to take with me, that was over 70 pages long. Now I don't know how you do your CMA's but 70 pages is a little over the top to say the least. It included:

  • Details on similar homes with pools.
  • Details on similar homes without pools.
  • Details on every pool home that had sold near theirs this year.
  • A list of every home on the market in their area.
  • A list of all of my sales YTD.
  • My grocery list from last week.

Anyway, you get the point. I was loaded for battle and well prepared to defend my position. Well I showed up for my appointment and as I had anticipated, the house, pool and yard were beautiful. So I was pleased about that. They had put a lot of time and money into it and it showed. The wife gave me the tour as I listened to her and I asked a few qualifying questions while we walked through the house. This is a very important step, as I am trying to find something that will help me in my presentation. I got lucky, one comment she made was, that when they were shopping for homes to buy, the first one they liked didn't appraise and they weren't able to buy it. Bingo! An excellent piece of info to help me with pricing.

So, hubby came in and we all sat at the table and I pulled out my arsenal of data. And of course the first thing I started explaining is how appraisals work and how they can affect the ability of a buyer being able to close on the house if it is not priced right. That was the right approach. It's true and it touched a cord with them since they had experienced exactly that. It opened the door for my discussion on pricing. Backed up with 70 pages of data, I made a strong case and after 90 minutes of hard fought discussion, we have agreed to Range Price the home from $289,000- $309,000 trying to sell as close to $299,000 as possible. Commission came up briefly but was not a factor.

We haven't done the paperwork yet, but I'm confident I have the listing. The Sellers are great people. It's an excellent property. It's priced right. I will be able to sell it. The Sellers will be able to move on with their lives. And "The Lovely Wife" had my "world famous" chicken and yellow rice with black beans for lunch. All in all, a very good day.

This listing, again, shows why it's so important to listen to your potential customers. They may just give you the information you need to succeed in your presentation. Pricing is everything in my market. Helping potential Sellers to understand this is what I enjoy doing. It gives me a great feeling of satisfaction. I just hope I'm not……….. counting the chickens before they hatch!

I’ll never work with them again!!

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

Have you ever had such a bad experience working with another Realtor that you swore you would never work with them again? I know it’s hard sometimes but we must remember that we are in business to assist Buyers and Sellers achieve their objectives. It’s tempting to not show a Realtor’s listings or suggest to your Seller not to accept a deal from a particular Realtor who we have had a bad experience with in the past. As difficult as it is, always try not to hold the Realtor’s incompetence against his customer/client.

The reality is, the Seller just wants to sale and the Buyer just wants to buy. Work towards helping them achieve these goals to the best of your ability. This may require dealing with unprofessional and rude Realtors on occasion. Bite your tongue, put on a smile and muddle through it. Take charge of the transaction. Be the one person in this stressful and difficult deal to hold it together and get the job done. Not only will your customer/client be impressed but the other Realtor’s customer/client will also become your biggest fan. This is how you build a long term successful business.

Anybody can handle a smooth transaction it is getting through the difficult situations that set you apart and make people remember you. Maybe your professionalism will rub off on the other Realtor. One thing is guaranteed the problems and issues we have with unprofessional Realtors will always be a part of our business. It’s our job to rise above it and keep moving forward with a good attitude. That is something we can control. That’s why they pay us the big bucks!!!!!!!!!

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.

Want to find out more? www.CentralFloridaShortSales.com

***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

 

My listing has already been sold!

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

My mom, I love her to death, sells timeshare resales. She has been in the timeshare business for almost 30 years and can sell ice to an Eskimo. She has won many National sales awards and is excellent at what she does.

But she has a hard time understanding what I do. Whenever I call her, and mention I sold a house today, she always says the same thing "Did you sell it? Or did another Realtor sell it". "Mom" I say "No, I didn‘t sell it, it was my listing but another Realtor sold it."

But you know, that is so far from the truth. I sold the house. I sold it when I spent 90 minutes convincing a Seller to price it right. I sold it when I talked the Seller into having a professional cleaning crew go through the house, or suggested they rip up the dirty carpet and lay down tile. I sold it when I positioned the house in the MLS, to get the most exposure. I sold it when the Realtor called me on a different listing and I talked him into showing this house as well. I sold it when I educated my Seller on paying closing costs for the Buyer. There are many things we do as listing agents that contribute to the house being sold.

As a matter of fact, if these things aren't done properly, there will be no sale. The house would be another property that sits on the market for 6 months only to expire or be withdrawn.

I heard a statement somewhere, "that a bad appraisal begins at time of listing." That is so true. It is also true "that a house is sold at time of listing".

A good listing agent will make the Buyer's agent job very easy. Priced right, clean, easy access and knowledgeable Sellers makes for an easy sale. So next time I talk to Mom, I think I will explain this to her. In the meantime, bring your Buyers on by…………….My listing has already been sold!

Eddie don’t know squat!!!!!

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

Received an offer for one of my listings earlier this week. Came complete with a copy of an escrow check, a two week closing, more than full price, request for 6% closing costs contribution and the notorious unsigned “pre-approval” letter from Eddie. Well being the professional Realtor that I am the first thing I do is pick up the phone and give good ole’ Eddie a call. I figured I had best ask him about this 6% seller contribution on a conventional loan. Also, thought it might be nice to find out who Eddie is and who he works for. Well Eddie it turns out IS a Mortgage Broker and is ready and excited about getting a loan closed for these Buyers. Seems they were under contract before but the deal didn’t close. Something about the Seller. Anyway, Eddie being full of knowledge and very helpful told me that doing 6% in closing costs with this Lender is no problem and in fact the Buyers are fully approved from the prior purchase and all they need is a contract and an appraisal and he will close in 7 days! Wow! I am really getting excited now. So I let Eddie know the offer is for $205,000 and I want to make sure they are qualified for this amount. “No problem. This is less than the house they had under contract” Eddie says. “Get me a contract and I will order the appraisal today” This Eddie is on the ball!

Now like the good little Realtor I am, I call the Seller, who happens to be a Realtor and Appraiser, to present this offer since the numbers do work out OK for him. Well first we have a good laugh at Eddie but decide to take Eddie at his word and accept the offer. We change all the time limits to reflect Eddie’s optimism about closing in 7 days. And we decide to add a little addendum stating the closing costs contribution of 6% will be made only if on the closing statement. No last minute “under the table” monies will change hands.

I get my Seller’s signature and fax this contract over to the Buyer’s Realtor. I decide to give her a quick call to let her know when she meets with the Buyers she needs to get as much information from them as possible about where they found Eddie and ask them for a “Good Faith Estimate” just to make sure the numbers are OK.

Well the next day the Realtor calls me fit to be tied. It seems good ole’ Eddie had contacted her to let her know that he Buyers actually only qualify for $185,000! And the Lender will only allow a 3% Seller contribution! I guess the bottom line is “Eddie don’t know squat!”

Moral of the story: A pre-approval letter from anyone besides the Lender is a worthless piece if paper. It is very important to place your Buyers with Mortgage Brokers that you can trust and who have a track record of successful closings. Be diligent when helping your Sellers negotiate. Don’t accept anything with out making calls to follow up and try to get as much information as you can. Listen to your gut instincts.

This story has been embelished and the name has been changed to protect the gulty.

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

45 days listing agreements. Weak……I don’t think so!

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

I've read several post recently talking about taking 6 month listings and nothing less. Well, personally, I take 45 day listings and nothing more. Not only that, but I do not charge cancellation fees. My ads state this, 45 day listing agreements no cancellation fees, ever! For me this works like a charm. When I meet with potential Sellers, mostly referrals, expired or withdrawn listings, this is usually mentioned after I have gone over my analysis.

I say something like this…. "The average days on market right now are about 78 in Poinciana. I am willing to take your listing for 45 days and if you are not happy with my services, pick up the phone and fire me. No questions asked and no charge to you. I get paid when you get paid, at closing. I may not be able to sell your house in 45 days but I certainly don't need 6 months. After a couple of weeks working with me you will want me for your Realtor for life anyway, so, if need be, we can extend the listing at the end of the 45 days. 45 days will give me enough time to earn your trust and your business. So what have you got to lose. So, are you ready to go on the market today?"

Well, in most cases the answer is……. yes.

Now I am sure there are Realtors out there who would say taking a 45 day listing agreement is weak. But you know, you are dead wrong. First, in most cases I will sell their house in 45 days. My average days on market right now are about 20-25. Secondly, I know that I will be able to create a lasting bond with my Seller in way under 45 days. Why? Because I call them constantly and I'm excellent at what I do. Now don't get me wrong, there aren't too many things in life that I'm excellent at, but when it comes to pricing and market positioning, on a listing, I am an expert. It's what I do. And I take it very seriously.

Now, a couple of fine points in my above presentation that you may have missed:

Notice how many times I mention 45 days? This is not random. I do it on purpose. I want 45 days to be imbedded in my Seller's mind. It shows them my urgency in getting their home sold. This is a very good thing. Especially if they have been on the market already for 6 months with another Realtor.

"…not happy with my services, pick up the phone and fire me." What's to think about? They can change their mind if they want to. It's a risk I'm willing to take.

"…I get paid when you get paid, at closing". This is a word picture. Closing and getting paid. I am getting them to focus on the end result. All good.

"…Realtor for life", planting the seed for future referrals.

"…we can extend the listing at the end of the 45 days." I haven't even taken the listing yet and I've already mentioned an extension.

"…time to earn your trust and your business". What more could a Seller ask for from his Realtor?

"…What have you got to lose?" "Are you ready to go on the market today?" Asking for the business. The close. This is where some Realtors fail. You must ask for the business. I don't care how good your presentation is, your last question must be the close.

So next time you have a listing appointment, try the 45 days listing agreement. Weak?……I don't think so!

The facts Jack. Nothing but the facts!

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

Got a call from a homeowner a few days ago. Seems he had received one of my solicitation letters that I send out daily to all expired and withdrawn listings in my market area. He was wondering why he got a letter since he had just listed his house on the market a few weeks ago. Well I got his address and phone number and told him I would look it up in the MLS and call him right back. When I checked the MLS he was currently active but had been withdrawn for one day and re-entered by the same office by a different Realtor. I called him back and gave him this information and had a nice chat with him. Very pleasant and knowledgeable young man. Wished him luck with the selling of his house and told him to feel free to call me if he ever had any questions or needed any help.

Well lo and behold he called me two days later and asked if I could come by and see him because he was thinking about changing Realtors. Sounded good to me so I made an appointment and went to see him the next day. He had a great  house! I had a look around and sat down with him and his wife to go over market conditions and give him my opinion of what his house was worth and what it would take to get it sold. He was currently listed at $215,000 with a 4% commission. My suggestion was $195,000 with a 6% commission. While talking with them I discovered a few things 1. They had never seen a Market Analysis 2. They had never sold a house before 3. The wife had been transferred and they wanted a quick sale 4. They had never heard from their Realtor since being placed on the market. I left them with all the information I had prepared for them and told them to keep me in mind if things didn’t work out with their current Realtor.

Called me the next day to let me know they had fired their Realtor and wanted me to place their home on the market with me. They said they slept great the night I left knowing there was hope and that they now had the information they needed to make a good decision. I now have a beautiful new listing with great Sellers. “Range Priced” at “Market Value” ($189,000 to $209,000) and a 6% commission so we can offer a good Co-broke. All these Sellers ever wanted from their Realtor were the facts. I have now connected them with a Realtor found through ActiveRain to help them purchase in Arkansas, for a referral fee of course. The Sellers are confident about their relocation. I am happy with my new listing that’s priced right and had two showings as soon as it hit the market. And their previous Realtor…………….?

The facts Jack. Nothing but the facts.

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?

Real Estate. I love it!

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

Man, I’m tired today. It’s been a long week. I’ve been very busy and I haven’t been sleeping very well. I have one of those bad backs and rarely sleep for more than an hour at a time. This has been going on for years. I even had a Seller tell me I didn’t sound like my normal chipper self today. It was true, but I didn’t like hearing it. Real Estate is all about having an upbeat and positive attitude. On the rare occasions when I’m not 100%, I feel my Sellers suffer for it. So what do you do? I’m a one man office, so it’s not like I can just take a day off. I must answer the phone. If I don’t my Sellers may miss a showing on their property and I can’t let that happen. They are depending on me and I won’t let them down.

Keeping my business small was a decision I made years ago. “The Lovely Wife” and I enjoy our time together and we did not want to get locked into a position of having to run an office and having to get up and go to work everyday. Also, I have a little bit of a control issue and have a problem with delegating. The most important reason for staying small is, I’m a salesperson. It’s what I like to do. It’s what I’m good at. I don’t enjoy managing people and running a business, even though I am a business. Does that make any sense?

I think the point is, that in order to be a success you must find the one thing you enjoy doing and try to do it better than anyone else. Some Realtors like going solo, some like being a part of a team, some want to manage, some want to open up large offices. I don’t think there is a right way or a wrong way, but I do think it is extremely important to find the way that works for you and makes you happy. Never try to work a certain way because you think that’s what is expected of you. Be true to yourself. Find your strong points and concentrate on them. Set your own goals and compete with yourself.

Also, have a plan. You must know where you are going in order to get there. Reflect on it. Get you priorities in order. And whatever you do, don’t do it for the money. If you do a good job and stay focused the money will come all by itself.

I hope you didn’t find this post too boring. But hey, it’s my Blog and it’s what I felt like writing today. Tomorrow is a new day and I m going to wake up refreshed and ready to do my best. Man, I’m tired. Man, my back hurts. Man, I am so blessed. Real Estate. I love it!

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.