Would your contracts pass this test?

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

Received an offer for one of my listings yesterday. At least I think it was an offer. It came in on a standard Far/Bar purchase contract. The only problem, with what I was able to read, is half of the information was either missing or incorrect. Unless of course the Buyer meant to ask for a 21 day closing and include a 30 day financing contingency. Now I admit I'm not very good at math but it looks like this Buyer has up to 9 days after closing to get final loan approval. Since the address is wrong on the contract he will probably need this extra time to locate the house he just bought.

Fortunately for this Realtor I will take the time to write up a new contract and hopefully we will be able to negotiate a deal. After all my Sellers just want to sell and the Buyer just wants to buy.

As Realtors it is very important that we are able to write legible and binding contracts for our Sellers and Buyers. There is no excuse for not being able to do this. We our actually bound by Article 9 of our NAR Code of Ethics to ensure that all contracts and addendums are properly completed, signed and dated by all parties. Take this seriously as our customers and clients are relying on us to protect their interest. I can't remember where I heard it but someone told me once "to write every contract as if I had to defend it in front of a Judge." Would your contracts pass this test?

 

Get off me!!Time. Mine is valuable. Is yours? One thing that agents struggle with is being in control of their time. How often have you popped out to show property at the last minute? Or had to cancel a personal event because one of your customer/clients needed to see you? What about the Buyer who can only look at properties every other Saturday from 4-7 pm? Do you work with them?  I don’t.

Here’s a fact. There are NO real estate emergencies.

Here’s another fact. You will NEVER be caught up. There will always be another call to make. Another website to update.

If  you want to have lasting success in this business and avoid burn out you MUST get control of your time. Work by appointment only.

Don’t let others dictate your schedule. Don’t do same day appointments. Just let them go. It will save you a lot of aggravation in the long run. If people don’t respect your time they will never respect the relationship. That’s a fact.

Let folks know at first contact how you work and when you work. People will appreciate knowing these things up front. If your schedule doesn’t fit with theirs then just let them go. We can’t work with everybody.

Once you set boundaries with your time a funny thing will happen…..you’ll start attracting people that will work within your time frames. And because of this you will be less stressed and you will become better at what you do.

Do you believe that? Well even if you don’t it’s still true. You just need to trust me on this one. Can you do that?

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

 

Answer the phone!

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

Tried to find my Sellers an out of State Realtor this week to help them find a house in the town they were relocating to. Researched several Realtors’ web sites to find one experienced with what my Seller was looking for and that seemed to have a lot of experience working with relocation Buyers. Found a great one. Over 10 years in business. Husband wife team. Top Realtors in their area. Great Web site, web log and pod cast. All the new tools to get the job done. Sent them a detailed E-mail explaining my Sellers needs and time frame for purchasing. My Sellers were pre-approved and going to the State in a week to purchase. Then being the good Realtor that I am I called the “contact me direct” phone number and left a detailed phone message as well.

Well now 7 days later no return call, no return E-mail. It seems you can have all the tools and put forth the appearance of being the best in your area and still not have the most important quality a Realtor can have-Responding quickly to ALL inquiries. Timely communication is the number one way to make money in Real Estate. Answer the phone. If you can’t answer it. Return the call in 15 minutes or less even if it’s to tell the person you don’t have time to talk but will call them back in 1 hour. Then call them back in 1 hour not 1 hour and 15 minutes. My cell phone has made me 100’s of thousands of dollars. Set your E-mail on auto response if you are not able to check it every 30 minutes. Better yet have it forwarded to your cell phone or PDA. Never leave a call or E-mail to the following day. Take care of today’s business today. You will have enough to take care of tomorrow. Answer the phone!!

 

No money? No problem.

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

Negotiated a deal on one of my listings yesterday. The Buyer is purchasing using 100% financing with Seller paying closing costs. My market is affordable housing with the majority of homes priced from $190s to $250s and it seems like most of the Buyers lately have been purchasing with no money down. Now don’t get me wrong I am in favor of home ownership for everyone but I fear a lot of the Buyers are going to have financial difficulties in the near future. With high insurance costs, property taxes and mortgage payments I am seeing payments of close to $2,000 per month for a starter home. That’s a pretty big nut to crack every month in my area where most families are regular working class people and don’t have any reserve funds if they should encounter a financial setback.

Also, a good number of these purchases are being made with ARMs with the Buyers basing their ability to pay on future raises at work or a part time job that they may or may not be getting. In my opinion Mortgage Brokers and Realtors are being overly aggressive in selling these folks on the advantages of home ownership without really taking the time to counsel the Buyers on the true costs involved. And since they don’t have to come up with any money at closing they are sitting ducks for Mortgage Brokers who are charging them sometimes outrageous fees for doing these types of loans.

So my challenge to Realtors who are dealing with first time Home buyers with a little or no money down is to really take the time to explain the pros and cons of purchasing a home. If the Buyers are fully informed and are wanting to move forward then help them to negotiate fees or guide them to the myriad of programs available that can help them with financial assistance. Placing a Buyer in a home he can’t afford can damage them for years. It can cause bankruptcies, divorces and even illnesses. So let’s “Protect the public” it’s what Realtors are supposed to do.

Finding ways to be humbled helps overcome frustration.

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

Hi folks. As most of us in this business I seem to have a lot more frustrating days than I used to. Real Estate is hard. My personal business is about 80% short sales and REOs (foreclosures). Frustrating.

I work in a very low end market and have to do lot’s of transactions every month in order to make a good living and pay the business bills. But that’s ok. So many folks have it much worse than I.

Yet, they have more strength than I could ever imagine. A perfect example is…..

.……Artist Leon Botha, one of the world’s longest surviving Progeria sufferers, and photographer Gordon Clark embark on a collaborative and artistic adventure, exploring the questions of destiny and immortality to bring us this powerful photo series Who Am I? Transgressions.

By words one transmits thoughts to another, by means of art, one transmits feelings.” Leo Tolstoy

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

Want to find out more? www.CentralFloridaShortSales.com

 

The BIO for Bryant Tutas

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

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! 

Leads can’t be bought………..

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

I am always reading and hearing about leads. How do you get them? And what do you do with them? Have you bought leads from this company? Well this got me thinking about what is a lead? A lead to me is someone that contacts me and tells me they want to sale or buy a house in the next 30 days and they were given my name by so and so whose house I sold last year. Leads are gold. Leads are money in the bank. They are ready to buy or sell and they are ready to work with you. Leads will turn into customers or clients and if satisfied will result in more leads by referring your services. If you could get a couple of leads a week you could easily covert them into six to eight closings per month. Leads can't be bought. Leads come from hard work and a loyal customer base that is built over years from providing honest and professional service. And from keeping in touch with past customers and clients.

Usually when we are talking about leads I think we are really talking about prospects. A prospect is someone that may be interested in selling or buying sometime in the future when Venus aligns with Mars. These are the people who spend days on the internet contacting every Realtor they can. Or call off the yard sign while riding around on a Sunday afternoon. You can buy prospects. There are many large web based "lead mills" that are wanting to sell you what they call "leads." Folks these are not leads they are prospects. To pay for these types of "leads" in my opinion is a waste of money. If these prospects were truly leads they would not be selling them to you for a few bucks.

So save your money and concentrate your efforts on keeping in touch with past customers and networking with people in your community. Always provide honest and professional service and before you know it you will have a steady stream of leads. Remember leads can't be bought they must be earned.

Short Sale Knowledge At Your Fingertips.

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

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.

Did you know a fiduciary relationship is forever?

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

Did you know a fiduciary relationship is forever? When working for a Seller or Buyer as a "Single Agent" you are creating a fiduciary relationship.

Brief definition from Wikipedia: for full definition click

A fiduciary duty is the highest standard of care imposed at either equity or law. A fiduciary is expected to be extremely loyal to the person they owe the duty (the "principal"): they must not put their personal interests before the duty, and must not profit from their position as a fiduciary, unless the principal consents. The fiduciary relationship is highlighted by good faith, loyalty and trust.

Once this relationship is established it does not go away just because your listing has expired or your Buyer is no longer working with you. You are still bound by this relationship. This means that whatever your client has told you in confidence must remain confidential until your client has given you permission to remove the confidentiality. And you have the duty of full disclosure to your principal. This is where in my opinion the problem comes in with having an Agency relationship in Real Estate.

Example: Suppose you have a listing as a single Agent and the Seller, your principal, has told you that she has been having financial difficulties. She is a few months behind on her mortgage payments and needs to sell quickly to avoid foreclosure. And she has asked you not to disclose this information to anyone. Ok, no problem, so far. A few months go by and your listing agreement expires and the Seller decides to list with another Company. About a month later you are searching for homes on the MLS to show the new Buyer that you are working with. This Buyer has signed a "Buyer's Broker Agreement" agreeing that you will work for him as a single Agent. The Buyer is now your Principal. Lo and behold the best match for your Buyer is the property that you had listed that is now with another Company. You take the Buyer to see it and he falls in love with the property. You rush back to your office and start writing a purchase offer and your Buyer looks at you and says "It looks like this property has been on the market for several months. Do you know why the Seller is selling?"

Here's your dilemma. You can't mention the pre-foreclosure or you are breaking your fiduciary relationship with the Seller and you can't not tell the Buyer because you owe him full disclosure.

This is a very simple and common example. It doesn't even take into account dual Agency or the fact that an Agency relationship starts with your Broker and filters down to all the Agents under that license. So what do you do?

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.