Trulia Widgets. Are they stealing your Google juice?

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

WidgetHi folks. I'm writing this post to send you guys over to Eric Bramlet's post over at titled Trulia Widgets: Truliamazing Trojan Horse(s) . Now folks…..I am far from being a techie and most of this stuff is over my head BUT from what I'm reading it looks like all these cute little Trulia widgets are swiping our Google Juice.

If you are wondering why Trulia is beating you out, for local Google SERP, this could be why. From what I understand, every time you place one of their widgets on your web site or blog you are basically telling Google that Trulia, not you, is the local real estate expert.

Did you know when you Google Poinciana real estate, is number 1 and Trulia is number 2. My site, is number 3 and 4. My site is number 7 and is number 10.

Fortunately, for me, I do own 40% of the SERP for that search. But why should I have to compete with Trulia and They are NOT experts on Poinciana real estate. In fact, you can't even find me when you click over to their sites and I belong to both Trulia and Actually, after extensive searching, you can find me. But that's only because I know where to look. The consumer doesn't have a chance in hell, of finding me, unless it's by luck. OR…..they can Google Poinciana Real Estate Expert and find me in the numbers 1 and 2 position! Bite me Trulia!! Oops….sorry….I couldn't resist.

My site is hosted by and has been for almost 9 years. I wonder why my profile and listings, when found directly through, is loaded with paid advertising? Seems like the $79 a month I have been paying for 9 years would keep that from happening.

My suggestion is to pop over and read Eric's post and then take the steps he has outlined to change the Trulia widget code. Or better yet….quit using ALL widgets. Have you ever looked to see how much crap widgets place on your computer? It's a whole bunch. Widgets are like spy ware. Not only are they stealing your Google juice but they are also spying on you!

Do you really think they give you these FREE widgets just because they are nice and want to help you? I don't believe that for one minute. Those FREE widgets are costing you. They are costing you business.

OK, that's it for me. You got anything to add?


Sell Poinciana Real Estate Poinciana Real Estate Poinciana Real Estate Poinciana Real Estate Agent

Copyright © 2008 | All Rights Reserved

Bryant Tutas
Tutas Towne Realty, Inc
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker
***The content of this blog is solely my opinion*** 

Please……pay me for all my hard work!!!

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

BAM!! Got me a Broker!!! Hi there. Today I’m going to write a little bit about short sales and commissions. Jack Lewitz wrote a post yesterday and in it he mentioned a Broker at one of his open houses who said “I don’t like showing short sale properties because I don’t know if I am going to get paid my commission!” 

Well….OK then…..that’s not a good thing. Getting folks to look at short sales is difficult enough due to the time involved in getting them approved. You certainly don’t want to give your peers another reason to not show them. 

If you have ever been involved in negotiating with lenders on a short sale, then you know, that they are notorious for wanting to cut the commission down. It’s almost a rule of thumb that they will approve 5% when two brokers are involved and 4% when there is only one. 

By the way, this post is not about commission percentages beyond the statement of fact above. Commissions are always negotiable. Just thought I’d get that little “Sherman” disclosure out of the way. 

Anyway, what’s happening, in quite a few markets, is that co-brokes are being offered in the MLS with a little added verbiage that reads something like this: “The sale and commission is subject to third party approval. The co-broke will be 50% of the approved commission.” I’ve seen listings where the co-broke was an outrageously high amount to “catch your attention” knowing full well that that is not what you would get paid. This causes problems. 

My personal opinion is that the co-broke being offered is the co-broke that needs to be paid. Anything less than this harms the integrity of the MLS. 

So, as a listing Broker, who is listing short sales, what can you do? I mean the reality is that you too want to be paid for your services. Especially on a short sale where it is a real pain in the arse. 

Let me throw a few ideas at you. 

  • You need to offer a high enough co-broke so the property will get shown AND you need to honor it. 
  • When negotiating with lenders you need to be firm. Just because they want to reduce the commission doesn’t mean you have to. The lender only cares about the Net. You need to explain to them that the reason the Net is as high as it is, is because you offered a good co-broke to get buyer’s agents through the door. 
  • Charge the Seller a nonrefundable fee, at time of listing, to help offset your expenses involved in selling and negotiating a short sale. The reality is short sales are very time consuming. You should be making more not less. 
  • The listing agreement is between the Seller and the Broker. The bank is NOT a party to this contract. Just because the bank reduces the commission it doesn’t mean the Seller is off the hook. The Seller may not be able to receive money at closing but they can certainly bring money. 

This whole commission reduction “thingie” is a mind set problem. Change the way you think. Helping Sellers avoid a foreclosure is NOT charity work. If Sellers fully understood the advantages of avoiding a foreclosure, by getting a successful short sale approved, they would be more than happy to pay your fee. 

What do you think about that?

I Pay My Bills On Time….Why Does My Credit Score Suck?

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

Waaaaaa......Hi folks. Today I want to talk a little bit about credit scores and how they may be affected by the credit crunch we are experiencing. Lenn Harley wrote a post last week that touched down on some of this, titled “ANOTHER DRAG ON THE ECONOMY?? AN UNTOLD STORY. The loss of consumer credit.” If you haven’t read Lenn’s post please take a minute to do so. 

Lenn’s post is about the effect of foreclosures, short sales, late payments, etc….on a person’s credit score and how this will affect their ability to get jobs, open bank accounts, buy cars, find affordable insurance and so forth. What her post doesn’t mention is the negative effect of credit scores for folks that do pay their bills on time. 

Your credit score is based on several factors….including: paying debts on time, amount of debt AND available credit. The last one is the kicker. Having a couple of credit cards is a good thing. Owing more than 50% of the available credit is a bad thing. 

Let’s say you have 3 credit cards with available credit of $60,000, but, because you are very good with your finances, you keep your total debt at about 25% or $15,000. This is a good thing. It shows you are able to manage credit in a responsible manner. Now let’s say you get your bills next month and the credit card companies have decided to “freeze” your credit at the amount owed or $15,000. You are now maxed out on your credit cards and your credit score will drop!!! 

That’s right folks… have done everything right and your credit score has dropped because the credit market is in turmoil. Does this suck or what?


Central Florida Short Sales FAQ#3

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

  What goes in the Hardship Letter? 

Central Florida Real Estate Broker 407-873-2747


This outline will help you prepare your hardship letter. The sample answers are to assist you NOT to just be copied. Your hardship letter should only contain facts. Just be honest. Your goal is to explain to your Lender why you can no longer make the payments for your property. This letter should be handwritten and legible. 

TO: Countrywide Mortgage

FR: Paul and Suzie Helpus

RE: 1234 Lost Value Ave. Poinciana FL 34759

LN#: 34578903

First Paragraph-Explain what you want 


  • We are requesting that you approve us for a short sale of our loan with your Company.
  • We are no longer able to make the payments and have been trying hard to sell the property.
  • We love our home but due to circumstances beyond our control we are no longer able to pay for it.


Secondly, describe your hardship 

  • What led to your current financial problems and caused you to miss mortgage payments?
  • What caused your hardship?
  • Did you lose your job?
  • Did your current job require a transfer?
  • Illness?
  • Death?

Be very specific. Remember you are trying to get your Lender to accept a loss. Be honest and be thorough.   

Then describe what you have tried to do to overcome your hardship. 

  • Have you been to counseling?
  • Have you been job hunting?
  • Are you cutting back on your expenses?
  • Have you been making mortgage payments on your credit cards?  

Briefly outline your current situation. 

  • You have a new job but are making less money.
  • You had to move due to divorce, job, children etc….  

Provide your contact information. 

  • Let them know they are free to contact you if they have any questions BUT reiterate that they should contact your Broker. 

Finally, sign and date the letter.

  • All Borrowers must sign.

OK, that’s it for this time. Next time we’ll discuss…..I’m not sure yet 🙂

In the meantime, if you have a property that needs to be sold as a Short Sale just CLICK HERE. I’ll send a Short Sale Listing Package right over.

FAQ #1 What is a Short Sale?
FAQ #2 What is a Hardship and why do I need one? 






Copyright © 2008 | All Rights Reserved 

Every Picture Tells A Story Don’t It? (Rod Stewart)

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

As most of you know by now my market area is in the pits. Foreclosures and Short Sales abound. Property values have plummeted almost 65% in the last 24 months. Properties that sold for $350,000 can now be had for as low as $100,000 in some areas. Deals are every where.

Since I specialize in selling Short Sales and Foreclosures business is booming. I have so many Buyers wanting to “purchase a deal” that I can’t get to them all. 

“More business than I know what to do with.” I can’t even count how many times I have said that in the last couple of months. It sounds like a REALTORS® dream doesn’t it? 

Well let me tell the other side of the story. 

I spoke to a beautiful young couple last week that I have known for several years. They have always seemed so happy. They called me because they are now getting a divorce. Loss of jobs and financial hardship have taken their toll. Instead of sticking together and fighting through these difficulties they have been overcome with stress. They relieve the stress by fighting with each other. In about 4-6 months their home will be a “deal” for some lucky Investor……… 

Florida Foreclosure

A potential Seller called me this week. Very nice person. We had a long conversation about what needed to be done to avoid foreclosure on their property. Then the conversation started getting really dark. This person was crumbling under the stress of losing their home. They told me, a complete stranger, that two days ago they tried to commit suicide and were considering it again. I immediately had to call for intervention. This property will probably be another “deal” in the near future…….. 

While driving around today I took this picture. Another deal. 

Florida Foreclosure

I wonder what the story is. Do you?

Copyright © 2009 | All Rights Reserved  

We have a Code of Ethics for a reason. Here’s one.

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

Don't make me sic TLW on ya!!!!Hi Nasty REALTOR(R),
My Seller, Ms Nice Lady, just forwarded me this email from you:
“I am not comfortable in working with a realtor that can’t give me a code so that I can show a home.  You should not be comfortable working with a realtor that can’t offer anymore assistance than this.  There are a LOT of buyers out there right now.  You are missing out on a huge opportunity as a seller.  Perhaps you might be interested in changing realtors.  This obviously isn’t working for you.”

The showing instructions for Ms Nice Lady’s unit are in  the MLS. I’m not quite sure why you had difficulty getting the code since all you had to do was click on the “Request a Showing” button. Any way your email coming from a REALTOR(R) is very disheartening. Ms Nice Lady chose the level of service that she needed since she is a very experienced Seller and knows that I am only a phone call away if she needs me.
In the future, please refrain from these types of comments since it is a clear violation of our REALTOR(R) CoE.
Article 15


  • REALTORS® shall not knowingly or recklessly make false or misleading statements about competitors, their businesses, or their business practices. (Amended 1/92)

I take this stuff very serious. However, this time, I will let it slide. Please conduct yourself accordingly in the future.

You know this is the first time I have EVER taken a Limited Service Listing. The Seller happens to be a friend of mine who has bought and sold numerous properties from me over the years. This email pissed her off as it did me. I know I would never send a Seller an email like this. Would you?

Are you a Florida REALTOR(R) looking for a change? Check it out.


 Copyright © 2009 | All Rights Reserved

Hi folks. When your specialty is selling properties over the Internet, sight unseen, you have to first: Be able to build trust quickly. And secondly: Learn how to use your camera!!!
Here’s a little video I did for one of our UK Buyers. You don’t have to be here to buy a house through Tutas Towne Realty, Inc. We will handle all aspects of the purchase from finding the right property all the way through closing and beyond. Ok check it out. Hey Richard……let me know what you think.

Hi Bryant,
Thank you very much for doing the video of the community of where our new villa is. I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for all your help finding us our vacation home in sunny Florida and making it so easy. You have been extremely patient with us and with your immense knowledge of the process of buying a property in the USA and helping us every step of the way.
Even though this has been an extremely fast process, we would have found it impossible doing this without you as we could not spend enough time in Florida to find our ideal home and stay until we exchanged contracts. You have taken wonderful photographs of several properties and describe them in detail and pointed out any potential problems. We are extremely grateful for all your help and making this an enjoyable experience.
I would not hesitate recommending you to anyone in the UK thinking of buying a property in Florida.
Once again, thank you very much.
Kind regards,




Copyright © 2009 | All Rights Reserved

Jingle Mail. The next big thing.

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

The walk away

Hi folks. This current real estate market and economic climate is really taking it’s toll on people. We’ve recently heard of  “Strategic Defaults” and “Delaying your foreclosure” now we have the “Walk Away” or mailing your keys back to the lender. Jingle mail is what the lenders call it.

And its spreading.

Not only are people doing this with their houses but they are also doing it with their other debts. Stop paying. Walk away.

If you want to get a better feel for people’s thought process just read through the comments on this article:

The New Consumer Debt Strategy: Just Walk Away

People are fed up. They are getting fed up with their credit cards’ interest rates going up even though they have never been late on a payment.

People are fed up with corporations getting trillions of dollars in bail out money while they get squat.

People are fed up with FICO scores and the control they have over our lives:

5 People Who Check Your Credit

People are fed up with creditors and their lack of willingness to help.

People are fed up. Are you?

So walk away
And close the door
And let my life be as it was before
And I’ll never never know
Just how I let you go
But there’s nothing left to say
Just walk away

*** Celine Dion—Just Walk Away—Lyrics by Albert Hammond.

Available Short Sale Training:

Bryant Tutas
Tutas Towne Realty, Inc
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker

***The content of this blog is solely my opinion***


This is NOT a Short sale or a foreclosure. Just a good property priced to sell. There are 3 bedrooms and 2 baths with 1480 sq ft of living space in this never lived in home. Built in 2007.

Owner will consider financing with 40% down or buy out right. The price is low enough at only $75,000. Would make a great primary residence or rental property. Would easily rent for $750 to $800 per month.

Either way it’s ready for occupancy. The AC and heating system was installed this week. Check it out….


Florida Property search

Bryant Tutas
Tutas Towne Realty, Inc
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker

Are you a Florida REALTOR(R) looking for a change? Check it out.


Copyright © 2009 | All Rights Reserved


Do you trust your REALTOR®? Better think again.

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

Buyer bewareOK before I get started let me say that I know from experience that most REALTORS® are good hardworking trustworthy folk. BUT…….not all.

As in any profession there are wolves in sheep clothing. You may think they are looking out for you when the reality is they are just looking out for their wallet.

Recently I have had agents on the other side of the transaction literally crying and begging for me to get an offer accepted because they needed money for Christmas. I would like to say I was shocked but I wasn’t.  In my 15 years of being a REALTOR® not much shocks me anymore. Agents begging to get paid is quite common.

What am I, as the representative for the Seller, supposed to do with this information? Keep it as a secret (professional courtesy) or tell my Seller and use it to  our advantage? What do you do?

Folks this is a big deal. Why in the world would an agent, I don’t even know, give me this information? I’m a Broker for Pete’s sake!! Don’t they know I am going to use this information to help my customer/client get a better deal?

I know for a fact that one recent Buyer paid several thousand more for a property and is paying a higher interest rate on an owner financed deal because their REALTOR(R) was desperate. We countered accordingly knowing that the other agent would “sell the deal”. And they did.

How often does this happen? Are you a desperate REALTOR®? Are you costing your customer/client money because you need a paycheck? I hope not. What say you?

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

Want to find out more?


The BIO for Bryant Tutas

Copyright © 2009 | All Rights Reserved


***Photo by manitou2121

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.