When the wall..comes tumbling down!

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


So, yesterday, I get a call from one of my Sellers. I had written about this particular Seller, in one of my earlier posts Three blind mice, three blind mice…blah, blah, blah!” First, let me say I really like these folks. As you can see, this is a public post, as all of mine are, my Sellers read my Blog and know that I am going to use their situations as teaching tools. Maybe, if they read this it will reiterate what I told them yesterday and finally reality will sink in. I just hate it when folks dig their hole deeper by trying to solve serious problems, by putting a bandage on them, when the situation calls for an amputation.

These folks owe $195,000 on a house worth, maybe, $185,000. The property is currently listed with me, with the intent of finding a Buyer, and then being able to negotiate a “short sale”. The combined payment is $1,400 a month and is way more than they can afford. Anyway, I got a call yesterday wanting to know if they were able to take the home off the market. Of course, I have no problem with this, as all of my listing agreements can be canceled at any time. In fact, I was kind of excited, hoping that they had decided to take measures to keep the house. I never wanted to list their house to begin with and had suggested they do whatever it takes to continue making payments. Like get a job!!

The reality is, that a rental will cost them $1,100 to $1,200 a month, anyway. So really, by losing the house, they are only saving a couple of hundred dollars a month. It doesn’t make financial sense.

Well, I guess the stress has become too much and they have cracked under the pressure. Their new game plan is to refinance the house again. Supposedly, the Mortgage Broker who has offered to “help” them, said he can reduce their payment by $40 per month!!! Of course, this will cost them another $6,000 to $7,000, in equity, that doesn’t exist to begin with. And there are no proceeds to the Seller. Thanks for your “help”, buddy.

When I asked the Seller about this, their response was, that by refinancing, they would be able to skip March’s payment and then they could use their tax return to make the payment for April. I asked them if they would then be able to continue to make more payments and they said “No, but we can’t worry about that now, we just want to buy some time.” So, there you have it, their well thought out plan. Quite the doozie!!!

Of course, we all know, that this plan, doesn’t have a chance in hell of working. The payment will, more than likely, go up once the deal is structured. The Sellers by this time will be sold on their “solution” and will move forward with the refinancing, regardless of the payment. The “tax refund” will be spent on something else way before it is received. They will never make a payment on the new loan. A “short sale” will probably be out of reach by the time more “artificial equity” is taken from the house and placed in the Mortgage Broker and Lender’s pocket. The Seller will be left facing an inevitable foreclosure again. And the “mind numbing” cycle of stress will begin all over again.

Well, I’ve done my best to get these folks to see reality. It ain’t going to happen. The only thing left for me to do is pick up my sign and move on to the next “blind mouse” and try once again to help folks that are not willing to be helped. Such is the life of a REALTOR® in a declining market.

This is the fault of ALL Mortgage Brokers, Loan Officers and Lenders out there who prey on the stressed out uninformed consumer. OK, OK just kidding. But I do love getting the financial guys riled up!!!

Unfortunately, we can educate and counsel the consumer, until we are blue in the face, but they will still do what they want, in the end. I feel like I have been banging my head up against a wall. The wall of irresponsibility. Well folks, I’m here to tell you, that if attitudes don’t change, this wall is going to come tumbling down. And the innocent will be crushed.

Homes for sale in Poinciana Fl.

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

Hi folks, if you are looking to purchase a home in Poinciana Fl? Then click on the button below to view my current inventory of “Homes for Sale”. These property listings are updated daily. If you are a Seller looking to sell a property then please contact me and I will be happy to add your house to my inventory of “Homes for Sale” in Poinciana Fl. OK, I’m still waiting on your call.



Hey, I almost forgot. Check out my blogsite at http://www.brokerbryant.com/ for more information on Real Estate in Poinciana Fl.

RedSpin simply spun!

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

OK, so I guess "60 Minutes and Redfin" is the topic du jour. I've been reading all the Blog fodder today trying to decide whether or not to chime in. Well, why not? It is an important topic and as usual I have an opinion, for whatever it‘s worth….

First, I want to link to the three posts, I have read on AR, that have addressed this "issue". There may be more posts but AR is too big for me to read them all.

Laurie Manny posted "Shame on you Redfin" It is very brief but hits on the Redfin agent (Kelly Engel) talking about how her conscious got to her for making $12,000 for five hours work and also touches down on the statement about Redfin handling the financing for their Buyers. The comments on this post are very good. Kelly even drops by to put in her two cents worth. I like the post but it doesn't really address the "issue" as I see it.

Neal Bloom wrote an article titled "Did Redfin show up or did they conduct the interview from their computer" Now, I like Neal, but did not like his article at all. It was very defensive and resorted to cutting down Redfin which in my opinion is doing the same thing that they are doing and is very negative. Sorry Neal, I'm not with you on this one. Redfin had air time and used it to their advantage. Why not? It's great marketing, and that seems to be their forte. So I can't fault them for that. By the way, talking about commissions is not a violation of the Sherman Anti Trust Act. Sherman is all about collusion and price fixing, a discussion, is neither.

Lenn Harley chimed in with "60 Minutes….Public Puff Piece by Purveyors of Publicity for the Percentage Possessed." Now, that my friends, is what I call a GREAT post title. OK, now we're getting somewhere. First, Lenn mentions the ReMax agent and her pathetic attempt to make us look good. Well, she failed miserably. I don't know if she was handpicked by Redfin or 60 Minutes but certainly managed to do more damage to our profession than anything Redfin said. But most importantly, Lenn wrote this "OUR BUSINESS IS NOT ABOUT THE COMMISSION PERCENTAGE. IT'S ABOUT THE VALUE TO THE CONSUMER OF SUCCESSFUL REAL ESTATE TRANSACTIONS. And she wrote this "these anti-REALTOR pieces will continue to air as long as we continue to ignore that we are paid for WHAT WE KNOW, NOT WHAT WE DO." Lenn, you go girl!!!!

OK, so here's my opinion. Redfin is NOT the problem. Redfin is using the consumer's perception of REALTORS® to their advantage. Redfin is also using REALTORS® defense of their commission to their advantage. They are creating a buzz. Frankly, I think they have a business plan that will fail but I firmly believe they have the right to try. They will fail because they are building a business by discrediting the competition. A successful business must be built on it's own merit.

As REALTORS® we are shooting ourselves in the foot, by trying to justify our commissions, by what we do, instead of what we bring to a transaction. We are harming our business by defending it against these types of attacks.

60 Minutes and Redfin are correct that there are many in our business that are grossly over paid. Not by the amount of money they are making but by the lack of value they are providing. I for one, will not waste my time trying to defend these REALTORS®. I would welcome a cleansing of our industry. If companies like Redfin help to shine a light on what's wrong with our industry then I'm all for it. Redfin is certainly not the solution but hopefully the attention they are getting will help us to reevaluate what it is we do and force us to "clean up our act" and make being a REALTOR® mean something again.

NAR needs to step up to the plate and make becoming a REALTOR® more difficult than writing a check. REALTORS® need to start putting their customers and client's needs first. We need to prove our value not defend our cost. My average commission is about $6,000. My customers are getting a steal. How about yours?

Related posts from Broker Bryant:

All content copyright © 2007 – Broker Bryant Real Estate Ramblings

Fraud Compliance Department……Training Video!

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

Wow! I can’t believe it’s Friday already. It’s been a very busy week at Tutas Towne Realty. We’ve had new listings coming on, a closing and several offers that came in. Also, our new “Fraud Compliance Department” was created. We believe this new department is really going to come in handy this year. Mortgage fraud is rampant in Poinciana Fl and Tutas Towne Realty doesn’t play that game.

Anyway, what better way to show you how this new “Fraud Compliance Department” operates than to make a little video for your viewing pleasure. So with out any further ado……here it is. Don’t forget to cut your speakers on!!!

Related posts:

The ActiveRain….Bull….Shhh!!!…..Bag. By TLW

You want my Sellers to do what? By Broker Bryant

All content copyright © 2007 – Broker Bryant Real Estate Ramblings


Bitter sweet success is hard to swallow!

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

Hi folks. This morning I had another one of my Sellers call, to let me know, he had just received foreclosure papers from his lender. That makes three of my 25 listings that are now in some stage of foreclosure. That sucks!!! I want, so bad, to help these folks and I'm doing everything I can to get their properties sold but it is so hard to sell right now in Poinciana Fl. In fact, for August, there were only 31 closings out of 1,750 listings. If you do the math that means 1.77% of Poinciana's inventory sold last month! Does it get any worse than that?

I was fortunate that 3 of the 31 closings were mine but that still leaves 25, of my Sellers, that didn't get "lucky". For the last couple of months we have been reducing the list prices every 2 weeks to try and find the "sweet spot". Unfortunately, when only 1.77% of inventory is getting sold, even if the price is right, Venus still has to align with Mars in order to get "lucky" and get a house sold.

So what do I do? Well, my strategy this year has been to get as many "priced right" listings as I can handle. I want about 40 but haven't made it there yet. The reason is I have been reorganizing my inventory. There are Sellers I have suggested we take their houses off the market and others that I have placed with a management company. If they don't absolutely need to sell and are not able to price it accordingly then they need to try other options.

I've also been increasing my Internet presence. My new point2agent web site http://www.sellingpoinciana.com or http://buypoinciana.com is up and running and has been generating some Buyer traffic. This site is in addition to www.poincianaproperties.com and www.brokerbryant.com. And I have been entering my listings on Craiglist.com and quite a few other sites as well. What I've been finding is that more REALTORS® are calling for showings because their Buyer found my listing on the Internet. That's a good thing.

Some how I have still managed to sell 20 properties this year. In my market, right now, that is outstanding!!!

But…….my heart breaks for these folks that may get foreclosed on. I already lost one to the Court house steps this year and don't want to lose any more. Unfortunately, I feel I will. And that sucks! It sucks that I feel that way and it sucks that I'm probably right.

All I can do is my best but sometimes my best is not enough. And this is one of those years where this has never been more true. And I fear 2008 is going to be worse. Even though I have personally had success in this market it has been purely due to the numbers. If you have enough listings you will sell houses. My success has been bitter sweet to say the least. Bitter sweet success will keep me full but it is very hard to swallow. And that's all I have to say about that. What say you?

All content copyright © 2007 – Broker Bryant Real Estate Ramblings

Does DOM matter? Or is it just a dog and pony show?

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

Broker Bryant on his ponyOn Sunday, I did something I don't normally do, I worked!! I had canceled a listing appointment on Saturday and figured since I would already be dressed up and lookin' real purdy from Church I'd swing by and meet with my future Sellers. I go walking in, as I usually do, full of confidence and ready to take a listing, when the Seller hit me with this, "What's your average days on market(DOM)?"

Well now, I thought, that's a pretty good question. So being the professional, experienced, big time heavy hitter, top producer that I am, I answered him, "Heck…I don't know."

I was thrown off track for a minute and then I had a flash, "What a great topic for a blog post!" So here I am writing a post about DOM (days on market).

Now you're probably wondering how I, Broker Bryant, listing machine, couldn't answer such a simple question. Well….let me tell you, I honestly don't know. Today, I decided to figure it out. Now I can tell you that prior to February of this year, my DOM was 38 AND I sold every listing I placed on the market. Then, as we all know, my market in Poinciana hit the wall. Everything changed.

So…..today was MLS research day. The first thing I found out was that when you are looking for DOM, in our MLS system, it only gives you the DOM for the last REALTOR® that had the listing. It does have a field for CDOM (cumulative days on market) BUT it doesn't average them out for you. That means when you see a report in our local paper telling you DOM is 98 or whatever…..it is NOT accurate.

Here's what my research came up with for my market Poinciana (all of zip codes 34758 and 34759). For the 39 closings that we had in October, the average DOM was 126 BUT the average CDOM was 195. Quite the difference wouldn't you say?

My last 10 sales average DOM was 95 BUT the average CDOM was 192! The big difference is because I take a lot of expired listings. So I guess, in all honesty, I could have answered my Seller's question by saying my average DOM is 95.

But let's slow this dog and pony show down a little bit. What about all of my listings that haven't sold? I have 18 listings on the market right now with an average DOM of 102 and an average CDOM of 180. And to complicate things further, 9 of these I have had for less than 45 days and 2, I have had for more than 300 days!

What about the 11 listings I have withdrawn over the last 45 days and placed with management companies? How do I factor these in? So the question is, "Is my average DOM really 95?" Should I tell a Seller that when the reality is his house may not sell at all? Or would telling him 95 be a dog and pony show?

In fact, only about 2% of the inventory in Poinciana is selling every month. Based on that statistic, the truth is, that for the 2% of the inventory, that IS selling, the average CDOM for Poinciana is 195 days. For the other 98% of the active listings the CDOM is unknown.

OK, I have now managed to further confuse myself. So here are my conclusions:

  • Average DOM doesn't mean squat.
  • Average CDOM means a little more BUT only if your property is in the 2% that will sell in any given month.
  • My average DOM is 95….assuming I can sell your property.
  • I liked my first answer best, "Heck…I don't know."

So folks, that's my analysis and I'm sticking to it. Are you as confused as I am? What's your average DOM? And please…leave the dog and pony out of it.

***Image compliments of Lenn Harley. Thanks Lenn!!!

Copyright © 2007 Broker Bryant Real Estate Ramblings | All Rights Reserved

Taking my Broker glasses off and looking at Poinciana FL.

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

Buy in Poinciana today!!! 

Folks, as you know, normally when I write about the market in Poinciana FL, I am always telling you guys how sales are down 60%, values are down 30% and basically how my market is in dire straights. Well today, I want to look at Poinciana from a different perspective.

Instead of looking at Poinciana through the eyes of a Real Estate Broker, I want to take a minute to look at Poinciana from the perspective of someone looking to move to Central FL.

Here are some stats that will help put Poinciana in a better perspective.

In January of 2006 there were 57,730 people that called Poinciana home. In November of 2007 there were 69,548. That’s an increase of roughly 12,000 or a tad over a 20% INCREASE in population in a 2 year period.

In January of 2006 there were 15,503 single family dwellings in Poinciana. In November of 2007 there were 18,683. Again, roughly a 20% INCREASE. That’s over 3,000 new construction homes in a 2 year period. An average of 130 per month.

During this same period there were approximately 1,900 resale homes sold. For an average of 82 per month.

Out of 18,683 homes in Poinciana only about 1,500 are currently on the market. That’s roughly 8%. Roughly 500 sold this year. That’s right at a 2.7% of total homes!!!

What all this means is, Poinciana is a vibrant, rapidly growing community. We have an average of 500 people a month moving into Poinciana. More than 92% of the folks that own a home in Poinciana are staying put.

Folks, if you are looking for affordable housing in a fast growing, self contained community then now may be a good time to check out Poinciana FL. Watch this little video show. Where else can you find a beautiful 1600 sq ft home on a Golf Course for less than $175,000!!

Come on down to Tutas Towne!!! I’ll be waiting for you.

http://buypoinciana.comPoinciana video tourssearch central florida homes

***Data was compiled from the Mid-Florida Regional MLS and the box score from the Poinciana Pioneer. Data includes Poinciana neighborhoods and Solivita.

Copyright © 2007 Broker Bryant Real Estate Ramblings | All Rights Reserved

Grown men don’t cry!!!

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

Please help me!!!!I woke up today to another beautiful Florida morning. Birds chirping, sunshine peaking through the drapes, the dog farting and The Lovely Wife looking lovely as always. Being as how I had no appointments today I adjusted my Temperpedic Craftmatic Adjustable Vibrating Bed into the upright position and grabbed my trusty laptop to enjoy an early morning stroll through ActiveRain.

After about an hour I pulled my aching body out of bed and sauntered into my office in my “jammies” to see what was on today’s agenda. Not much. Just a few follow up phone calls and some bills to pay.

So I decide to pay my bills first. I actually enjoy paying bills for some strange reason. I guess there were many years when I couldn’t afford to pay them so now that I can….it’s very satisfying.

Anyway, I click on my Quicken program and enter my password, then……BAM!!! I get a blank screen. What the……I start to break into a cold sweat! Where is my financial data? I fight back the urge to scream and reboot my computer to try again. Quicken……password….BAM!!!! Blank screen again!!!!

Folks, now I’m getting scared. Quicken has ALL of my finances. Business account, personal accounts, investment properties….everything!! And now I’m missing the last 18 months worth of data. It’s gone!!!

Then I remember…..I have a back up disc! My breathing levels out and I pop my disc in and……BAM!!! There’s nothing on it. It seems the problem occurred the last time I backed up. It said “back up complete” but it didn’t burn the info because it wasn’t there to burn.

Now I’m sweating big time. What do I do? How can I recreate almost 18 months worth of transactions? I wouldn’t even know where to begin.

So I do what any smart person would do……I call Jeff Turner!!!

“Jeff…..HELP ME!!” Super Jeff calmly walked me through a few things on my computer but alas…..we couldn’t find the data. I love you Jeff. Thanks for trying!!!

My next call is to Quicken. The rep I reached was very nice and we spent about 30 minutes trying to find my data on my hard drive. It wasn’t there. Then he said something that I will never forget. “Mr. Tutas we have tried everything and unfortunately your data is gone!”

Now folks……TLW said I started crying. But I’m here to tell you it was my allergies acting up. Now I’m not sure what I’m allergic to but it certainly must be something because my eyes started watering up. And contrary to popular belief GROWN MEN DON’T CRY!!!!

Anyway, as I’m slowly wiping the “allergy tears” from my eyes I hear a faint voice on the phone “Mr Tutas, let’s try one more thing.” I did what the guy told me to do and……BAM!!!! My data appeared!!!! He found it!! Right in front of my face, on my screen, was ALL of my financial data. I ran into my office and grabbed 3 disc and backed it up 3 times. I HATE redundancy but this time I LOVED it. If I would have had more than 3 disc available I would have filled every one of them.

So folks, after 4 hours or misery and a severe allergy attack I’m back in business. I have now set up an online account with Quicken so my data is backed up on their servers.

Now I’m off to Walgreen’s to buy some more discs, maybe I’ll get some allergy pills while I’m there. THE END!

Graphic compliments of Nick “Duh” Appraiser. Nick….we miss you man!!!! 

Copyright All Rights Reserved http://brokerbryant.com 2007

Is Cyberhomes the 800 pound Gorilla?

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

Look real "hard" at the picture. Oops!!!

Hi folks. Today I want to talk a little bit about Cyberhomes. Have you heard of them? I hope so. Cyberhomes.com is the real estate portal owned by Fidelity National Financial(FNF). FNF is(from their website): 

  • Fidelity National Financial, Inc. (NYSE: FNF), number 248 on the Fortune 500, is a leading provider of title insurance, specialty insurance and claims management services. The company comprises three primary subsidiaries: Fidelity National Title Group, Inc. and Fidelity National Property and Casualty Insurance Group, both wholly owned subsidiaries of FNF, as well as Sedgwick CMS, a minority-owned subsidiary. 

Now folks, I know we always talking about Zillow. Zillow this, Zillow that, Zestimates and blah, blah, blah…. 

While we are doing all this talking about Zillow(Z). Cyberhomes(CH) seems to be slipping under our radar. Let’s do a little comparison. 

Z claims to have 80 million property records. CH claims 100 million or 85% of the properties in the USA!! 

Z has 1,870,000 “Homes for sale” posted. CH has 2.5 million!! 

When you visit Z their main page is pushing their Zestimate at you. When you visit CH they are pushing “Homes for Sale”. 

Now folks, what would happen if CH decided to get into the real estate business? I’m talking about the selling real estate leads business. 

I don’t know the answer but I do know we need to be watching what happens with CH. Consumers want data and CH has a whole bunch of it. The real question is “What is CH going to do with the consumer once they get them?” And it looks to me like they will get them. Maybe they’ll just give them to us for FREE for a fee!!! What say you? 


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Copyright © 2008 http://www.brokerbryant.com/ | All Rights Reserved

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

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Foreclosures, swimming pools and thieves!!!

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

I’m dedicating this post to swimming pools. That’s right…swimming pools. We have swimming pools everywhere in Florida. Here is a picture of our pool.

Want to go swimmin'?

This is what they are supposed to look like, sparkling, refreshing and very inviting. It makes you want to jump in doesn’t it? 

Now contrast our swimming pool with these.


This is what pools look like when the property is a REO (bank owned) or a short sale. Not all the time but certainly most of the time. 

Needless to say these can be a HUGE problem. There are probably 1,000s of pools, that look like these, throughout Florida. The first thing that comes to mind is “Mosquito Hell”!!! Not to mention snakes and a myriad of other creatures that we have not been able to identify. Here’s an article from The Orlando Sentinel about this issue. 

Another problem we have is the theft of pool equipment and heaters. I met Andrew Cox of Cox Inspections and a fellow ActiveRain member at one of my pending REO properties this morning. Andy beat me there but called minutes after his arrival to ask me where the pool pump, filter and heater were. Beats me. I swear they were there 5 weeks ago when my buyer and I negotiated the deal. Good thing we have the right to inspect and CANCEL!!!

Pool pump and filter   

So folks, foreclosures are affecting the market in many ways. Can you imagine living next to one of these pools? 

Oh well….that’s all I got for you today. I’m going swimming!!! Want to join me?

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.