Solivita. A Baby Boomers Paradise

Posted by admin January - 29 - 2013 - Tuesday ADD COMMENTS

I’m a Baby boomer. I’m one of over 68,000,000 million Baby boomers born between 1946 and 1964. I was born in 1957.

Baby boomers control over 80% of personal financial assets and more than half of all consumer spending. We buy 77% of all prescription drugs, 61% of over-the-counter drugs, and 80% of all leisure travel.

And……according to the 2011 Associated Press and LifeGoesStrong.com surveys:

  • 60% lost value in investments because of the economic crisis
  • 42% are delaying retirement
  • 25% claim they’ll never retire (currently still working)

As a Baby boomer myself I can relate to each of the above. My wife and I lost just about everything during the financial crisis of 2008.

Retirement is a pipe dream. Mostly because I’m self employed and really have no reason to retire. I work from home and truly enjoy what I do.

The Lovely Wife and I moved into SoliVita, an over 55 active adult community in mid 2010. Our last house was way too big and keeping up with it was becoming a burden. So we downsized. We moved to one of Florida’s World Class Active Adult Communities, SoliVita.

Making the decision to downsize and move into a Florida over 55 active adult community was one of the best decisions we have ever made. Since moving here our lives have changed for the better.

We get more exercise, eat better and relax more. We spend more time outside enjoying all of the amenities in SoliVita.

At age 55 we are in the best shape of our lives.

Getting old does not have to suck. It can truly be the best time of your life.

Can we help you with your SoliVita Real Estate needs? New and resale homes available from low 100s to high 400s.

The Fear Of The Solivita Short Sale

Posted by admin May - 27 - 2012 - Sunday ADD COMMENTS

As you may know, I list and sell a fair amount of Short Sales in Florida. One of the many issues I face is Sellers who are all gung ho about doing a Short Sale and then they disappear.

At any given time I could have a dozen listing packages out there that I am waiting on to be completed and returned. The Sellers and I have spent time on the phone discussing their situation and the way forward. All that’s left is for them to complete the paperwork and get it back to me.

Then…nothing. Nada. Zilch. No response and no returned calls or emails.

Why does this happen?

My opinion is that it happens due to fear. Fear of losing their home. Fear of needing to move. Fear of incurring moving expenses and rent payments on top or an already bleak financial situation.

Some of these folks haven’t made a mortgage payment in a year or more. Once the Short Sale is completed the living for free is over.

Fear of uncertainty. Not knowing if the Short Sale will succeed. Knowing that once they make the decision to move forward they are venturing into the unknown.

Fear of taking action. Not taking action can be comfortable.

Fear of being looked down on. Doing a Short Sale means admitting you are in trouble financially. The neighbors will know.

These are just a few of the reasons why taking the next step towards doing a Short Sale can be difficult.

Having been through two Short Sales myself I can relate to each and every one of these.

Making the decision to Short Sale our properties was very difficult. It was humbling. We lived in a small town at the time and I was supposedly a successful Real Estate Broker.

I feared knowing that my peers would see my properties on the market as Short Sales.

I feared my business being affected because of it. Of course business was already in the toilet so it couldn’t have gotten much worse. So my fear was really just my ego getting in the way..

BUT……in spite of my fears I made a decision to move forward with the Short Sales. As soon as I made the decision I felt better. In fact I felt smart! Smart to be taking action and smart to be unloading a “thing” that was just harming me and my family.

It was freeing. I took control of the situation and conquered it.

Today, almost 3 years later, I look back and see that my decision to get my ego out of the way and solve the problem was the best thing I have done in a long time.

Being able to relate to others who are facing Short Sales because I have “been there done that” has caused my business to explode!!

There is life after a Short Sale. And I truly believe you will find life to be much more fulfilling than it was before. So set your fears aside and take the plunge.

Use the Short Sale as a fresh start. Truly explore why you are in this situation and then make changes so it doesn’t happen again. Don’t let your ego stand between you and your new simpler future.

And that’s all I have to say about that. What say you?

Should I Buy A Car Before Doing A SoliVita Short Sale?

Posted by admin December - 10 - 2011 - Saturday ADD COMMENTS

Hi folks. Recently I have had several SoliVita Short Sale sellers ask me the same question…..”We need to replace our car. Should we do that before we go through the short sale process?” The concern is that once they go through the short sale their credit will be dinged and financing an automobile will not be easy. One is even paying cash and is concerned how it will look that he went out and spent $15,000 cash on a car and then turned around and asked the lender to accept a short sale.

Interesting question. And one that certainly shows that we are in a different stage of the short sale wave. The Short Sale Sellers mentioned above do not have cut and dry hardships. They are current on payments and have great credit scores.

The first wave of short sellers that started mostly in 2008 were distressed sellers. Property owners that could no longer afford to make their mortgage payments. The next wave were folks that had adjustable rate mortgages that were resetting and they couldn’t refinance as promised when they took out their mortgages.

The current wave is made up of folks that just need to sell but can’t because their properties are too far underwater. They are current on their payments and are not in foreclosure. They could continue to make payments. BUT….they have to move.

Their family has out grown the property. They have a job transfer. Or they are strategic short sellers.

Their situations are different than the first two waves of short sales…

So……should they go out and replace their car prior to doing the short sale? It depends. My response to them is……..

  • “If replacing your car is something you would be doing even if you weren’t getting ready to do a short sale then, yes, go ahead and do it. If dependable transportation is needed for job purposes then, yes, go ahead and replace it now. Do what you need to do to make sure your family is taken care of. BUT…be able to defend your position if the lender ask you about it. Be able to show that buying a car was needed and not just wanted. And…..be prepared to make a cash contribution towards the short sale lender’s loss.”

This is my opinion. What’s yours?

Do you need help with your SoliVita Short Sale?

Do You Need A SoliVita Short Sale Specialist?

Posted by admin November - 27 - 2011 - Sunday ADD COMMENTS

Am I a Short Sale Expert? I don’t think so. Even though my new CDPE designation says I am!!! Yes that’s right I am now a Certified Distressed Property Expert (R).

VISIT MY SOLIVITA SHORT SALE INFO SITE

As you may know, my partner Wendy Rulnick and I own the most active Short Sale Network in the World at ShortSaleSuperstars.com and we have been teaching agents how to do short sales for several years now. BUT….we are not Short Sale Experts.

So…..we both decided to attend the CDPE classes and get our Certified Distressed Property Expert (R) designations.

Wendy took hers online and I attended the 2 day CDPE class in Orlando Florida this week. You’ll be happy to know we both “passed”!

I was the lucky one since I didn’t have to take a test. Just show up and be present for 14 hours of class and BAM!! you too can be a Short Sale Expert.

But Broker Bryant, how was the course? I’m glad you asked. I found it to be very good. The information being taught was relevant, accurate and fairly detailed. If an agent took the CDPE course, that had zero short sale experience, they would certainly be a position to help some folks avoid foreclosure. I would still recommend they have a mentor to assist with them with their first few short sales but they would at least know the process. And they would have the forms and materials to get them started.

CDPE has a very thorough package of Short Sale documents and forms that would help any agent. Lots of good questionnaires and disclosures to protect the agents and their brokers while at the same time helping to educate the Short Sale sellers.

Plus the CDPE Advanced Membership provides you with monthly marketing materials, website and continuing support for your short sale business.

So all in all my hat’s off to Alex Charfen for authoring a very excellent Short Sale Designation with CDPE. Well done Alex!!!

But please….don’t call me a Short Sale Expert. Just call me Broker Bryant, The Best And Hardest Working Short Sale Broker You Will Ever Find In The State Of Florida. Next to Wendy, of course 🙂

Do You Need To Short Sale Your SoliVita Home?

Posted by admin November - 6 - 2011 - Sunday ADD COMMENTS

You may even qualify for a cash incentive*** from your Lender to do a SoliVita Short Sale.

***These programs are not available to all Sellers and the incentives may vary from State to State.

Here are the Florida Short Sale Incentive Programs that I am aware of:


HAFA. Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternative. Lender will pay the Seller $3,000 as a Relocation Assistance. Only for primary residences.


FHA PFS. HUD Pre-Foreclosure Sale. Seller can receive $1,000 for relocation assistance. Just yesterday I received FHA PFS approval increasing the seller incentive to $4,000!! Only for primary residences.


Chase Short Sale Incentive Program for select Borrowers offering them up to $35,000 to do a short sale.


Bank of America Co-operative Short Sale. From $3,000 to $20,000 Short Sale Incentive.

Citi Bank, Wells Fargo and Ocwen also have programs available for select home owners. Amounts vary from $3,000 to $35,000. Most are in the $5,000 range.

Folks if you are behind on your SoliVita mortgage payments be sure to open any and all mail you receive from your lender. It could very well be an offer to Short Sale your property. These offers are usually time sensitive and require immediate action on your part.


But why would my Lender pay me to do a SoliVita Short Sale? That’s a good question. For one, it less expensive, for them, for you to cooperate during the Short Sale process and maintain the property than it is for the Lender to foreclose and get an abandoned property back. Also, the Lender does not want you to continue living in the property for free. They would rather pay you to do a Short Sale now than have you live there for another year or so while deciding what to do. The incentive gets you to take action.

Whatever their reason is..…it’s a good opportunity for you. Any questions?

Are you under water on your Florida mortgage?

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.

Copyright © 2011 http://www.brokerbryant.com/ | All Rights Reserved

SoliVita Unveils New Model Homes

Posted by admin January - 30 - 2011 - Sunday ADD COMMENTS
SoliVita Model Home

SoliVita Floor plans

SoliVita recently hosted a Realtor(R) open house to show us their new model home park. All I can say is WOW!! The new homes are gorgeous and the prices are very reasonable. Homes starting at $126,990 for the 1,278 sq ft Marathon model up to $367,990 for the 2,980 sq ft Cordoba model.  And everything in between. 17 floor plans to choose from. Something for everyone.

The best part of course is living in SoliVita. SoliVita is Florida’s premier retirement community designed for active adults over 55. SoliVita offers 2 championship golf courses at Stonegate Golf Club. 14 heated swimming pools including the indoor aquatic center for year round water exercises and swimming.

SoliVita Amenities include: Numerous lakes and canals for boating and fishing. 2 fitness centers. Grand Ball Room. Computer centers. Library. Restaurants. Tennis courts. Pickle Ball courts. Ball field. Dog park. Shuffle board. Over 100 clubs to join. And so much more.

Folks, if you are looking to retire in Florida or just want to simplify your life then you owe it to yourself to take a look at SoliVita. I moved here in May of 2010 with my wife and have to say it has been the best place we have ever lived. I’d love to give you the tour!!

SoliVita Resales are also available staring in the 90s.

Looking for a Florida Retirement Home?

Posted by admin June - 16 - 2010 - Wednesday ADD COMMENTS

If so……why not check out Solivita? Solivita is a World class 55 and over active adult community. Solivita features single family homes from the low $100s to the high $500s. Two Championship golf courses including StoneGate. Beautiful Riviera Spa and Fitness center and so much more.

Each Solivita community has a 24 hours manned guard gate. Solivita is located in Poinciana Florida. 25 minutes from Disney World Orlando. By the end of 2012 we should have one of the most modern hospitals in Florida directly across the street from the entrance to Solivita. Buy now while the prices are good. We’d love to have you.

Now you are probably wondering what active adults do. Well check it out……

Please don’t call me after 8pm

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

Time management. This is a very important part of being a successful Realtor. Or, in being successful at anything, for that matter. We all have 24 hours a day. That's it, 24 hours. 24 hours to do business, spend time with our families, exercise, relax, eat and sleep. Now for me, I like to spend most of this time on the last two, eating and sleeping. Well, not really, even though I do love to eat and I cherish my down time, whether it's spent relaxing, reading, blogging on AR, playing with "The Lovely Wife" or sleeping. So how do I manage "down time" while still handling my business. Especially since I'm a solo Realtor.

First, I am very organized. I wake up everyday knowing exactly what I have to do that day and exactly how much time it will take to accomplish these things. I don't like surprises. I try not to change my schedule unless absolutely necessary. And most importantly, if it's on today's list, then it gets done today. I don't roll things over to the next day. At the end of the day, I start a new list, for the following day. All of this is kept on a legal pad that goes with me everywhere. It has my appointments for the day, phone calls that need to be made, signs that need to be delivered, task to do and so forth.

The biggest time saver for me is choosing not to work with Buyers. I don't have the time, desire or patience to do this. I have a network of Realtors, in my area, who I refer Buyers to. Being the Broker, my referral fee is just about what I would make if I had a Buyer's agent working for me, so what the heck. It also helps to build good relationships with my fellow Realtors and I don't have to spend my time supervising an employee. By doing this I am free to concentrate on getting listings, communicating with my Sellers, negotiating deals and following up on closings. These are the things I enjoy doing so why not do them exclusively?

Here's a list of a few other things that help me, with saving time. Hopefully, these will help you in your business.

  • One appointment listings. Do a short seller prequalification, on the phone, prior to your appointment and go over prepared, loaded with info and ready to list and put your sign in the yard. Before you leave, take all photos, measurements and give the Sellers their copies of the paperwork. In and out in 90 minutes. On to the next one.
  • Answer the phone. This is a major time saver. No calls to return. Answer the phone and your done.
  • Respond to E-mails as you read them. Read it, reply, your done.
  • Call your Sellers daily. This way they don't call you when you are busy. I do this while driving to and from appointments.
  • After a closing, close the file. I add the Buyers to my data base, send out thank you cards, go to quantum mail.com and send out my just sold mailers, order the Lowe's Rewards for the Buyer, send over the press release for the newspaper and deposit my check. Same day as closing, the file is in archives. Next!
  • Normal paper ads and monthly mailers are ordered for the year in January. The only thing left to do is pay the bills.
  • Group appointments and errands together. If you have to leave the office make it worth your while.
  • If you have to call a customer with negative news. Do it immediately. Don't worry about it. Don't stress over it. Don't try to figure out how to break the news. Your customers are adults, pick up the phone and make the call. Get it off your plate and together you and your customer can work on a solution. A stressed out Realtor is no good.
  • And my favorite all time, time saver. Don't take an overpriced listing or work with an unqualified and unmotivated Buyer. The ultimate time waster and stress maker.

That's it. Broker Bryant's crash course on time management. I'm a small time Realtor (by choice) but by utilizing these time saving techniques, I am able to limit my work to about 5 to 6 hours a day and still accomplish 40-60 closings a year, working by myself and from my home. So I know it can be done.

So, get a grip on your time, enjoy your business and enjoy your life. And please don't call me after 8pm……. because I will be playing with "The Lovely Wife" and the phone will be cut of.

My Sellers are not grapes!

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

Ok, so I spent the day showing properties. This, I have to say, is one of the things I hate most in life. I avoid it all costs. Realtors have made tons of money off of Buyers that I hand over to them. But today was special. I was with Sellers, of mine, who are needing to downsize and I wanted to give them an idea of what they can buy for less than $100,000. So not only did I spend all day showing listings but I was showing manufactured homes. This is something I have never done. The whole purpose of this little adventure was to be able to reduce their current home by another $10,000 to expedite a sale. They really, really need to downsize.

My Sellers are close to 70 and are no longer able to maintain their property. All of their money is wrapped up in their home and it is slowly disappearing. My sellers are being crushed by a rising mortgage balance and a depreciating market value. I know what you want to say, "Broker Bryant, how come their mortgage balance is going up? Aren’t they making payments?” Well, technically, no. In reality, yes.

Several years ago, these Sellers were sold on the idea of a Reverse Mortgage. At the time, it seemed like a great idea. No more payments and you can live in your house until you die. Here in lies the problem. No one can predict the future. Life has a way of going where it wants to and we are just in it for the ride. How were they to know that their health would fail and they could no longer maintain their 1750 sq ft home? How could they predict property taxes and insurance rates skyrocketing and property values taking a plunge? Could they have foreseen their interest rate going from 1.5% to 6.47% in the first 6 months? Life is funny like that, it goes where it wants to go.

So here is their current situation. They are on a fixed income. Property taxes and insurance payments are now equal to the PITI payment they used to make on their mortgage, that had a balance of $69,000. Since they do not make payments and the principle balance and interest only “payment” goes up every month, their current mortgage balance, after 3 years, is $101,000 and climbing by about $600 to $650 per month. This payment will continue to increase every month until they die or sell. Their house, that was worth $250,000 last year, is now worth about $230,000 and decreasing rapidly. So where does this leave them? Being crushed between a rising mortgage balance and a decreasing house value.

Now I will be the first to admit that I am ignorant when it comes to Reverse Mortgages. Over the last month I have been reading up on them and trying to become more knowledgeable. I have several Sellers right now that either have one or are thinking about getting one. Are Reverse Mortgages a good thing? I just don’t know. Are they for everybody? Definitely not. Should homeowners have counseling before getting one? Absolutely. Should we, as Realtors, recommend them or give advice on them? I don’t think so.

From what I have learned about Reverse Mortgages, they can either be a blessing or a curse. Extreme caution is recommended.

For my Sellers, it has been a curse. It was a short term solution to a long term problem. If counseled properly, it would have been in their best interest, to of sold their house a couple of years back and downsized. Now they are forced to sell. If not, they will be crushed financially.

Unfortunately, in order for this to work, we are now looking at manufactured housing. Hopefully, I can get their home sold and they can pay cash for their next house and have much lower taxes and insurance. We did look at some fairly nice places today and they have "got their heads around" what must be done, to secure a future, they can afford. I am so pleased that I am able to help them. This is why I do what I do.

Nice folks, in their 70s, should not have to worry about being crushed. I hate showing properties! But I hate my Sellers being crushed even more. My Sellers are not grapes!

To list or not to list? That is the question.

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

Do you ever take postdated listings? What I mean is, a potential Seller calls you up and wants to get together and discuss placing their property on the market, the catch is, they are currently listed with another company. What do you do? Well, I'll tell you what I do, I go over and take the listing. Did you know this was perfectly ethical? What you can't do is try to convince them to cancel their existing agreement or bad mouth their current Realtor. Also, you must postdate the listing agreement. But other than those three things, this is an acceptable way to do business. I actually run across this quite often in my business and never hesitate to take the listing.

My feeling on this is that, these Sellers just want to sell their house, if their current situation is not working out for them, then, I am more than happy to give them another option. How do you feel about this? Do you do it? Would it make you angry if I did this on one of your listings?

Well, I've never had it happen on one of my listings but don't think it would bother me at all. I too want my Sellers to sell their house and if for some reason I can't get the job done, I would want them to seek another Realtor's services. Heck I may even make a recommendation to them.

Here's the section in our Code of Ethics that covers this situation.

Standard of Practice 16-6

  • When REALTORS® are contacted by the client of another REALTOR® regarding the creation of an exclusive relationship to provide the same type of service, and REALTORS® have not directly or indirectly initiated such discussions, they may discuss the terms upon which they might enter into a future agreement or, alternatively, may enter into an agreement which becomes effective upon expiration of any existing exclusive agreement. (Amended 1/98)

So, the next time this situation presents itself, go take the listing. Don't feel bad about it, just do it. It's all a part of good business practices and it helps the consumer out. And that really is what it's all about. To list or not to list? That is the question.

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.